What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I really enjoy writing horror but am hoping to write some science fiction at some stage. I actually have ideas for crime novels as well but I’m trying to restrain myself and concentrate on horror for now, though I do write short stories and poetry on the side.
Tell me about your creative process. How did you come to write this book?
I always start with a central idea or two ideas that spark off each other. In this case it was the twins’ unusual relationship alongside the idea of Satan’s Fan Club (I also like to have a title before I start). But it couldn’t be just a case of the twins’ strangeness making them susceptible to evil. I had to subvert expectations along the way and try and make morality turn on its head.
What inspires you?
Inspiration can strike at any time but not always when you need it, so I make a lot of notes. Anything can be inspiring, visiting a new place, a book, a film, a conversation. It’s hard to trace most ideas to a source because most seem to come from nowhere or from thinking what the story needs once you’re on that journey but the idea for Nick, the Devil character, came from someone saying she’d met someone who could get people to do whatever he wanted.
What was your inspiration for your main character?
There’s two main protagonists in this book, troubled and twisted twins James and Louise. I’m not really sure where they came from. I can’t trace them back to any particular source as individuals. It was the nature of the relationship I started with and fleshed things out from there but I’m sure the book owes a debt to elements of The Cement Garden and The Secret History.
What do you love about your antagonist?
The twins’ nemesis or saviour, depending on how you look at it, is Nick, the man they meet at the nightclub who might or might not be the Devil. It’s great and very freeing to write a character who represents pure evil. So I love that and also the mysterious nature of his power over other people.
What is your favorite setting for a story? Why?
The setting I return to most often is a domestic one, probably because the stories usually revolve around a central relationship, but with a heavy dose of something supernatural, strange or speculative thrown into the mix, and dark, always dark. One reader’s review of Satan’s Fan Club said “What could really happen in a house near you!” and I like that because you just never quite know.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice would be to write what you love or just have to write because that is what will sustain you through the difficult patches. Write the things you would like to read, if they existed. And target submissions very carefully because the key – and most difficult – bit is finding the right match, the magazine or publisher specializing in precisely the kind of thing you’re writing.